Building strong client relationships is vital to business success. It also drives sales, traffic and overall sustainability. Companies that build and maintain excellent client relationships will undoubtedly become fierce industry competitors. Clients and customers are a company’s greatest asset and it is important to remember that it costs significantly less to retain a current customer than it does to acquire a new one.
A definitive correlation exists between the length and quality of client relationships. The stronger the relationship, the longer you can retain the client – it’s that simple. Companies need to be aware that client satisfaction does not always create loyalty. A satisfied client has received the intended service or product, to the level that they expected—that’s it. Strong customer relationships demonstrate providing additional value to the client. Be sure to go the extra mile and don’t treat them as only a paycheck.
Below are 4 tips to help build successful business relationships:
Successful relationships both give and take. Loyal clients and customers come from a relationship that keeps them invested and engaged. If a client is reducing their involvement or engagement you may need to conduct damage control. To increase engagement, plan a brainstorming session. During this meeting encourage your clients to become more involved with you and your company and in the decision making process. Be sure to ask and incorporate their opinions and short/long-term goals.
2. Ask for feedback
In most cases, regular feedback improves relationships as it brings to light any problems that may have developed throughout the course of the business relationship. Communication and feedback may also help you to determine new ways to increase your product and/or service offerings. Implementing a regular feedback system is recommended to help streamline the process. Remember that after you gather feedback, you will need to act on it and implement changes. If not you may damage the relationship instead.
3. One size doesn’t fit all
This shouldn’t be too surprising; all clients are not the same and have their own unique needs and preferences. Don’t use generalized, aggregate feedback; tailor your relationship-building strategy to each client. If you treat each client like they’re your only one, you will build a long lasting relationship.
4. Be their first call
If you build a successful and mutually beneficial relationship, your client should consider you to be a trusted advisor and ultimately their first call. Hopefully they will call you first when they want to consider a new line of business, launch a new project/service, or for assistance. Offering support to your client before they ask is a great way to demonstrate, interest, engagement and commitment to the business relationship. Hoping you can provide additional value that will help your clients’ sales, profitability or bottom line. Being an expert who provides them with industry news and updates can also help position yourself as the first call.
Ultimately, healthy and successful relationships thrive on communication. Remember to touch base regularly with clients and ask about their progress and learn how you can exceed their expectations and achieve the best results for all teams involved.